Vesuvius Dreamscape (Not-quite-naïve oil painting)
Not-quite-naïve oil painting, 16 x 20 inches. Painted on a Grumbacher No. 634 prepared canvas panel. Unsigned, undated, ca. mid-20th century. Panel is bent/distorted along the left edge, paper backing soiled and flaking around the edges. Paint surface with some flecks/surface abrasion consistent with indifferent storage/handling. The surface has been gently cleaned with Winsor & Newton Artists' Picture Cleaner and sealed with a reversible UV archival varnish.
Quasi-surrealist dreamscape with a volcano erupting in the background of a confabulated peristyle. Let's call it Vesuvius, Pompeii. Featuring hallmarks of intermediate painting class techniques—perspective, impasto, chiaroscuro. It probably would not have faired well in an art school critique, but undoubtedly has its own... mystique?
A selective (ironic?) use of impasto for marble objects, including a female honorific statue. Chopped at the knees, she's perched precariously and/or defiantly opposite the volcano and while the lava reflects off nondescript boxes of architecture, she's aggressively backlit by something that one can only imagine must have been awful in the old sense of the word.
The longer you look (at what focal point?!), the weirder it gets—and it commands attention for quite a while. What's going on with those abstract column capitals? Exceptional.
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